• Eva Hou

Marine life protection in New Taipei City


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#SDG14 Preservation of Underwater Life

Implementation period:

No-fishing zone: 2007–Present

Marine life nature reserve: 2014–Present

◆ Project Website


◆ Summary

The Fisheries and Fishing Port Affairs Management Office has been devoted to protecting the ocean through the implementation of policies all related to the following three core aims: preserve the ocean environment, improve the state of the ocean, and preserve marine life.

◆ Implementation

1. No-fishing zones

In September 2018, nine no-fishing zones were implemented, covering up to 41,674 hectares. In these zones, cruise ships are not allowed to use fishing nets. The zones are distributed in the coastal areas of Linkou, Bali, Tamsui, Wanli, and Ruifang districts.

The no-fishing zones can be divided into three categories, namely those with artificial fish shelters, with cross-shaped protective artificial reefs, and without gill nets. The aim of establishing no-fishing zones is to preserve the ocean environment and marine life.

Artificial fish shelters are made with various materials, such as cement, iron, and tire , depending on individual circumstances. Algae and benthic organisms grow on the shelters, thus creating new ecosystems and becoming new habitats for sea creatures.

Cross-shaped protective artificial reefs are used to avert trawl fishery. Because trawl nets cause incidental catch and by-catch, immature fish and coral reefs can easily become trapped in nets. Therefore, cross-shaped protective artificial reefs can act as a shield line for trawl fishery.

No-gill-net zones have been implemented to reduce the damage caused to seabed ecosystems. Gill nets are often fixed on coral reefs on a large scale by fishermen. Sometimes, gill nets discarded by fishers become caught on coral reefs in the ocean, entangling marine creatures. In light of this alarming phenomenon, each gill net is now monitored using the name of the ship and the serial number. Given this penalty, the New Taipei City government is subsidizing the industrial transformation of gill net fishery. This policy has already considerably reduced the damage by 250 cases since 2018. In addition, more than 10,0000 tons of nets have been removed since 2012.

No-gill-net zones in Jinshan

2. Marine life nature reserve

Because the offshore areas in Wanli, Ruifang, and Gongliao districts are relatively accessible, the amount of overfishing in these areas was high. To maintain marine life diversity and extend the longevity of immature creatures, the fishing of nine types of marine life organisms such as coral reefs, Charonia tritonis, and urchins has been strictly prohibited and incurs a considerable fine. In addition, fishing for immature marine creatures such as abalones, lobsters, urchins, coral reefs, and fish under a certain length has also been forbidden since November 2014.

3. Restoration Park In cooperation with the government, the aquaculture industry in Gongliao District has successfully bred small abalones and abalones, paradise fish, mitten crabs, and other fish in a restoration park. Moreover, the park has recently started collaborating with National Taiwan Ocean University to restore the population of cuttlefish and flower crabs.

Release of small abalones

4. Ocean education

Education is essential to marine life protection. Since 2015, citizens have been able to learn more about coral reefs and marine life through a guided tour and coral planting courses offered at the restoration park. By understanding how precious and vulnerable marine creatures are, people develop an increased awareness of their responsibility to protect the ocean and an enriched perspective on ecological conservation.

Coral planting courses

◆ Budget

No-fishing zones: NT$2 million

Restoration Park: NT$700 thousand every year

◆ Outcomes

1. Restore ocean life On June 8, 2018, World Oceans Day, the Fisheries and Fishing Port Affairs Management Office released 10,000 yellow-fin sea breams, 10,000 black-fin sea breams, 5000 immature cuttlefish, and 100,000 immature small abalones in the Gongliao nature reserve. In addition, the Taiwan paradise fish, which was once listed as an extinct wild animal, was removed from the list in 2009 after the restoration campaign.

World Oceans Day, 2018

2. Develop the local industry

In collaboration with National Taiwan Ocean University, the Gongliao Fishermen's association has successfully bred the “Gongliao abalone.” Using both the technology and marketing strategy of National Taiwan Ocean University, the Gongliao fishery association has not only developed various abalone-processed products but also exported Gongliao abalone to Japan.

3. Discover rare species

As an indicator of the renewed cleanliness of the ocean, a 15-centimeter Epimenia babai Salvini–Plawen was found in the Ruifang nature reserve in 2018.